Daily Devotions from The Word Of God… From the heart of Ed Algreen

Archive for the ‘Determination’ Category

Your Decisions Will Cost You

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   Acts 18:5-6 (NLT)

TEXT:   5Paul spent all his time preaching the word. He testified to the Jews that Jesus was the Messiah. But when they opposed and insulted him, Paul shook the dust from his clothes and said, “Your blood is upon your own heads—I am innocent. From now on I will go preach to the Gentiles.”

OBSERVATION:   Paul was a very patient evangelist of the Gospel of Christ. He had a passion for reaching the lost, and also those who allowed other teachings to hide them from the truth of the Gospel. However, he was a very smart man, and one who was closely in tuned with the work of the Holy Spirit. Therefore Paul realized that he could not force anyone to believe on the name of Jesus, so he allowed God to direct him when to move on, so that the people would feel the absence of the Savior. This is still very prevalent today, so let’s dig deeper into this.

APPLICATION:   One of the most joyous occasions in a church is to help welcome a new pastor to serve at your church. For those who dig in and work along with the pastor to accomplish the work of the Lord in His local church, one of the saddest events in a church is when a pastor feels compelled to leave your church. Way too often, it’s for reasons very similar to the scenario faced by Paul, for the people are steeped in tradition and refuses to accept the love and preaching from men who, they feel, don’t fit the mold of their personal ideals for a ‘perfect’ pastor. Unfortunately, this could mean that in spite of their gentle heart for the Lord and His work here on earth, yet the man presenting the gospel is a mortal man, and this is often reflected through his casual talk; the friends (church members) that he hangs out with during his downtime; the jokes that he uses to help demonstrate or illustrate the story being preached that day; and the casual dress throughout the week is even being brought into the pulpit. However, he has a passion for the lost; he is a student of the Word of God and faithfully communicates with God about His perfect will for your church. Friends, these same pastors leave our church because of silly things that hurt them and their family, and they go on to another church where God is at liberty to work through them to reach the people of that community. Often these pastors brush the dust off their feet when they leave your church – the dirt of distrust; lack of communication; lack of acceptance and cooperation; excessive gossip about them and/or their family; refusal to allow God in and use you as part of the ministry at your church. Oh that we might remember that we are all equal at the foot of the cross. While here on earth we should be preparing ourselves, with the help of God, to see our old selves changed into the likeness of God as we prepare for that day when we will see Him face to face. Our time here should now be spent getting rid of old habits and the tricks we played on people that hurt them so badly. Our time should be spent in developing an attitude like that of Christ, and getting along with all men and women, even those that the world might look at and wonder why do we bother. Friends, I wonder if the blood of others may not sometimes be upon our shoulders it we had a part in steering them away from the gospel of Jesus Christ.

PRAYER:   Lord Jesus, it is so challenging to live here on earth and imitate You in every way. Often we find many excuses and reasons why we can’t, but Lord I humbly plead that You would melt our hardened hearts so that we might see our old selves with its flawed character, step aside as we assume the life that You have given to us and demonstrated for us. People need the Lord. They need to see You. They need to hear from You. If that’s not happening through us, then please teach us to step aside and not be a stumbling block to those You are trying to reach. I pray that You might be able to use me Lord, but I would rather Your will, not mine. To God be the glory, for all that You will accomplish! AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’.  If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

 

Get Away With The Lord

Post Date:

Tuesday, 2017-04-04
SCRIPTURE

From:

Exodus 34:23-24 (NIV)

Text:

23 Three times a year all your men are to appear before the Sovereign Lord, the God of Israel. 24 I will drive out nations before you and enlarge your territory, and no one will covet your land when you go up three times each year to appear before the Lord your God.
OBSERVATION:
This is an interesting meeting Moses had with the Lord. After the last similar meeting, Moses returned to his people, and became so angry at finding them worshiping idols again, that he threw down the stones upon which God had written the Ten Commandments. God had Moses write the Commandments on the stones this time, but He also ordered Moses to gather the men together and meet with Him (God) three times per year while they attended festivals. It sounds like God wants time together with His leaders!
APPLICATION:
At a time when it is extremely challenging to get men out to church on the weekends, and especially at midweek prayer and Bible study, we were able to take a group from our church to a Bible based, Spirit led, prayer conference for approximately two full days. These days were filled with the Word of God, as Scripture was given to each participant; songs prompted by the Holy Spirit; and prayer from the heart of each attendee, as prompted by God. No agenda, just waiting before the Lord and obeying the leading of His Holy Spirit. What might seem amazing to many, is that the crowd doubled in size the second year! What a sweet, Holy Ghost filled, time with the Lord! We returned to our church fired up, renewed and ready for the Lord to continue His work in and through us. This helped me to identify with what God was telling Moses to do. I wonder, if your pastor organized a get-away at your church: How many men would sacrifice vacation time to go and spend devoted time with the Lord? How many wives or girlfriends would encourage husbands or boyfriends to please go and participate? How many employers would welcome the time off for employees that they suspect would return and pray for the success of their business? Friends, I wonder how many gods we place before the God of this universe when we can’t find time for church services over the weekend or a discipleship class during the week? We tend to blame it on ‘time’, but may I recommend that you use the word ‘priority’ when explaining why you couldn’t participate/attend? Especially use that word when praying to God at the end of each day. Imagine: Lord Jesus, please forgive me for not making it a priority to hear from You through reading Your Word today? Lord, please forgive me that I made it a priority to take my family to the beach today/took my wife shopping today/went to have lunch with old friends today; played golf today…. but didn’t make it a priority to take my family to church. Can we, in all good conscience, add to the end of those excuses: ‘but bless me anyway and guide the thoughts of my troubled son this week’??? Friends, I believe that we are either all for God, or we’re not. I know that we can’t be at every single church gathering, but sincerely before God, we must be ready to answer His question on the priority of our day/time. Please consider taking time away to draw close to God, so that He might draw close to you. I don’t believe that there could be one thing more strengthening for your relationship with God, which will also enrich your relationship with your family and coworkers.
PRAYER:
Lord God, please forgive us for the many excuses we come up with regarding our priorities. Too often You are placed at the bottom of the list, or as a last resort. This must be turned around if we ever expect to draw close to You, or encourage/convince an unbeliever. Please give us strength, boldness and self-determination to serve You wholeheartedly and without excuses. You gave up Your life for us, how much more can we do in return? Give Your children boldness and commitment today I sincerely plead dear God, AMEN!
FOOTNOTE:
There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’.  If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

A Person Of Integrity – Godly Characteristics

THE HOLY BIBLE – Who can live in your tent, Lord? Who can dwell on your holy mountain? The person who lives free of blame, does what is right, and speaks the truth sincerely; who does no damage with their talk, does no harm to a friend, doesn’t insult a neighbor; 4 someone who despises those who act wickedly, but who honors those who honor the Lord; someone who keeps their promise even when it hurts; 5 someone who doesn’t lend money with interest, who won’t accept a bribe against any innocent person. Whoever does these things will never stumble. – Psalm 15Common English Bible (CEB)

THOUGHTS: I believe that most of us strive to do things right, or pleasing to those that we hang around! However, in the Christian’s walk in life, we have a greater power that we aim to please, for as children of God, knowing that God went to the extreme of giving up His only Son for us, we look to His Word for guidance on how we believe He would like for us to live. With that knowledge, how then should we live, so that our integrity would not be in question? The Psalmist actually rehearsed this for us, or shall I say that God gave us this guidance through His servant David! I am not questioning your ability to read these characteristics for yourself friend, but I am merely rehearsing them to myself, and sharing that process with you! Here’s what I see in this Psalm:

  • We must have a pattern of life that is blameless – This word means genuine, free from moral or ethical spots, corruption, and inconsistencies, though not morally perfect – since this is humanly impossible. In other words, such a person is a man or woman of upright integrity (Job 1:1).
  • Our actions must reflect righteousness – We must live in harmony with God’s will and standards.
  • We must speak the truth sincerely – rather than being double-tongued, saying what is true some of the time and lying at other times. Concocting stories against others so that we might look better. (2c).
  • We must not slander other people – by saying things that are untrue and destructive about them. I think of gossiping, and backbiting. (3a).
  • We must not do evil to our neighbor – (i.e., those that we come into contact with, (3b); Prov. 14:17–24).
  • We must not initiate or circulate information that would discredit others (3c). This shows intent to harm others.
  • We must not approve of those who turn away from the Lord – we must not approve of sin, or disregard for the things of God or His principles. (4a).
  • We must honor those who choose to follow God’s ways (4b) – encourage them, pray for them and help them succeed in the ways of the Lord.
  • We must keep his promises even when it costs us to do so (4c) – of course this is not financial cost, but it may be at the cost of losing certain friends, or perhaps losing a promotion at work, or something similar.
  • We should not charge interest on money that we loan to our Christian brothers – this could very easily lead to us taking advantage of their weakness (5a; Exod. 22:25; Lev. 25:36).
  • We must not accept a bribe that might lead to hurting an innocent person – for although this may be to our own advantage, it may bring hardship on others (5b; Deut. 27:25).

Friends, David concluded that this type person will experience stability in his life as well as enjoy intimate fellowship with God. A believer needs to make sure he is walking in the will of God consistently to enjoy fellowship with God and stability in his life. Are you prepared to do this friend?

PRAYER: Lord, You are so patient with us. In spite of our weaknesses in caving in to life’s demands, You have shown Your precious and everlasting love for us. You have given us a lot to think about in this Psalm today Lord, for it has hit on many of our weaknesses. However, You have also reminded us throughout Your Word how gracious You are to guide us and lead us into Your righteousness, when we have a desire to do so. Please touch Your children today so that we might find a new determination in this Psalm to go on and be even more committed in our walk, our righteousness and Your will for our lives. We need so badly to be more like You in every way, so that those that we come into contact with may be transformed into Your likeness. May this be a day that those who have still not made a choice to follow You will gain strength from You, and see every reason in our walk and talk to follow through in accepting You as their Lord and Savior. I ask these things in the strong name of Jesus, AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to blogger.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, Sebring, FL! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

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